Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Review: A Laptop in Original Format for Pros and Creators

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Review: A Laptop in Original Format for Pros and Creators

We now know the surface of Microsoft and the results are always impeccable. The slightly harder anodized aluminum chassis gives the PC a premium look. Its touchpad is in the same order, pleasant to use and perfectly fluid.

The keyboard skin is also nice, but the keys are smaller than most PCs; A surprising choice and eventually not practical on a daily basis because it causes regular typing errors, at least in the beginning. There is no fingerprint reader or numeric keyboard, the backlight can be adjusted to 4 levels.

The keyboard keys are slightly smaller.

The keyboard keys are slightly smaller.

Fortunately, Windows Hello allows you to quickly unlock your computer with webcam support face recognition. It offers movies in 1080p and good picture quality, was a bit dark, but can slightly improve its brightness in the software. However, in low light, the noise is actually felt.

In difficult lighting conditions.
In a bright office.

On the connection page, the PC is limited to two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and a mini-jack socket, which is explicitly defined for a model that wants to be “pro”; Competitor who used to accustom us with extreme restraint, now offers more opportunities in its MacBook Pro M1 Pro and Max.
If you forget the proprietary charger, you can use USB ports to recharge the system, but it will be slower than the latter.

The connection is explicitly defined.

The connection is explicitly defined.

So far, nothing too unusual, but the secret of the surface laptop studio is hidden behind its screen: specific hinges allow it to move the keyboard forward, or be completely flat. This allows it to be used as a display or graphics tablet. However, we have some doubts about the durability of the fabric that holds the hinges on the back of the screen. For more details and photos on the possibilities offered on this screen, we recommend reading our exclusive lab article:

On the other side of the screen.
The screen can move forward.

If the stylus can be inserted under the chassis, it is very special. It has two “levels”, with a small base, so there is a gap to accommodate the slim pen. This original design allowed ventilation grills on both sides of the Microsoft PC to ensure good ventilation. The system is very quiet even during video encryption under the handbrake; We recorded only 34.1 dB and 40 C. In sport, ventilation becomes very audible, though not the primary use of this model.

The Surface laptop studio does not get too hot.

The Surface laptop studio does not get too hot.

Unfortunately, Microsoft users make no attempt to disassemble the system, and we advise you not to attempt the functionality. Not only are the screws hidden by rubber feet under the chassis, but one of the screws is placed squarely under an invisible piece of plastic. So you run the risk of voiding the warranty and damaging the chassis. FYI, M2 SSD is still replaceable, but do not plan to replace the RAM, solder or substandard battery.

It is very difficult to disassemble this system.

It is very difficult to disassemble this system.

Here we tested a model with a 4-core Intel Core i7-11370H processor GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card with 50 W TGP.

We already have the opportunity to test this processor, but it has a low performance controlled by Microsoft to avoid overheating. Beyond 80 C, CPU throttle and operating frequencies decrease, which specifically affects the processing time of required applications. In absolute terms, the processor is nice, but not as obvious at the level of most top models. It scored 80.3 by our protocol, slightly higher than the Core i7-1165G7 found in many ultraportables.

P.C. against its rivals.

P.C. against its rivals.

Fortunately, the RTX 3050 Ti supports applications with hardware acceleration, which greatly reduces processing time, especially in video editing, photos or 3D rendering. This chip is entry level and certainly not close to the RTX 3070 Ti, for example, its processing time is 3 to 4 times faster.

You can indulge in video games with the Surface laptop studio, the RTX 3050 Ti has its low thermal envelope of 50 W. It will not be difficult to replace with smaller indie games and somewhat older titles, but it will change. Clearly minimize the graphics of the most needed games. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla As shown in 1080p, for example, Ultra mode does not have 17 fps (can not play to speak), and had to go to the “medium” setting to get the most fluid experience (67 fps). This GPU, on the other hand, allows you to use DLSS to improve the fluidity of compatible games, but it may be necessary to drop the rating.

Ultrasound test results.  Therefore it will be necessary to reduce the graphics quality so that the required captions can be executed.

Ultrasonic test results. Therefore it will be necessary to reduce the graphics quality so that the required captions can be executed.

Strong points

  • Ends.

  • Versatility of convertible shape.

  • Standard 120Hz screen.

  • Good autonomy.

  • Full-HD webcam.

  • Quiet.

Weak points

  • Average performance for a “pro” system.

  • The keys are a little small.

  • Cannot disable audio processing.

  • The fabric behind the curtain that looks brittle.

  • Extract is very difficult.


We tested what we wanted

How does the ranking work?

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio is a weird PC that does not fit everyone. Its main form is mainly aimed at creators and professionals who want to work in tablet mode or display content. For the most common use, or rather focused on clean performance, this laptop does not show good value for money. Although the Onboard Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card complements it and allows hardware acceleration to be used for some applications, processor performance is not really its strong point. The 120 Hz screen offers high quality service and the autonomy is excellent, which enhances the final score.

Supplementary notes

  • Construction

  • Performance

  • Screen

  • Audio

  • Movement / Autonomy

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